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USCIS Changes Policy on Medical Examination Report

By Kristina Karpinski

USCIS recently announced a change in its policy on the validity of the Medical Certification on the Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (Form I-693).  The Form I-693 is used to determine if an adjustment of status applicant is inadmissible under the health-based grounds of inadmissibility found at INA § 212(a)(1).  The medical exam must be performed by a USCIS authorized civil surgeon and must be in accordance with the rules promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Effective June 1, 2014, the medical examination results will be valid for one year from the date USCIS receives the Form I-693.  The new policy is a change from previous guidance that extended the validity period of the civil surgeon endorsement on the Form I-693 until the adjustment of status application was adjudicated.  The previous guidance on extending the validity period was issued every year since 2002.  The new policy applies to any Form I-693 adjudicated on or after June 1, 2014.  So applicants with I-485s, Applications to Register for Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, that are pending for more than one year will receive a Request for Evidence (RFE) asking for a new I-693.  

The medical examination report may be submitted concurrently with the Form I-485, or at any time prior to the adjudication of the application.  For applicants who are required to appear for an interview at a USCIS field office, the I-693 may be submitted at the time of the interview.   To avoid submitting multiple medical exam reports if an I-485 will be pending for an extended period, the applicant may want to wait until the adjustment interview (if applicable) or until USCIS requests the report before submitting it.

USCIS has indicated the new policy is in response to concerns raised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the validity period of the medical report form.  For more information on medical examination requirements, see the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 8: Admissibility, Part B, Health-Related Grounds of Inadmissibility, Chapter 4, Review of Medical Examination Documentation.